A 154-year-old spice and extract firm has turned its bittersweet historical past into, properly, bitters.
The Watkins Co. makes spices, extracts and gourmand flavorings, and this Winona, MN-based firm simply expanded its choices into bitters with Watkins Fragrant Bitters and Watkins Orange Bitters.
“Flavoring is actually engrained in our DNA,” says J.R. Rigley, president of The Watkins Co., which relies in Winona, MN. “Customers have checked out Watkins as purveyors of taste.”
Bitters, Rigley says is a pure extension of what the corporate does finest, and the corporate spent a yr on improvement earlier than taking them to market, with a delicate launch in September 2021. “Whether or not it’s a splash of vanilla for morning espresso, spices for the grill or an natural dip for entertaining, Watkins has given shoppers entry to the very best high quality, cleanest choices for taste,” he says. “We’ve constructed a degree of belief with our shoppers, and in areas the place we may prolong, spirits was merely a pure development.”
Many shoppers might have heard of the Watkins model from its spices, extracts, and pure flavorings, Rigley says. One of many model’s hottest merchandise is its pure vanilla extract, which has greater than 20,000 on-line opinions. “Our vanilla is really a staple of our choices,” Rigley says, including that it is among the firm’s most lauded merchandise.
The Watkins Co. is thought for sourcing all-natural components for its merchandise, and the model steers away from utilizing synthetic components, flavors and colours of any type, Rigley says.
“Bitters has allowed us to marry our deep experience and create relevance for shoppers who’re open to enhancing the expertise they’re presently having with their cocktails or mocktails,” Rigley says. “Whereas we could also be new to the spirits class, we’re no strangers to taste, and now we have an unequalled historical past. It’s what we do.”
Watkins Fragrant Bitters begins with vanilla, which is then accented by dried tart cherries, hibiscus flowers and quassia bark. Watkins Orange Bitters combines zest of actual oranges with clove and cardamom. Each bitters are available in two sizes – 4 oz. ($8.99) and 11 oz. ($14.99). Along with being carried at retailers nationwide, the bitters are offered direct to shoppers on the corporate web site, in addition to on Amazon.
Rigley says that the corporate hopes to draw shoppers who’re involved in regards to the components of their bitters. Like the entire model’s different merchandise, Watkins bitters are sourced from all pure, gluten-free, OK Kosher-certified and sustainably-made components, he says. “We avoid GMOs, corn syrup and gluten, and that makes us distinctive,” he says.
Rigley additionally says that the corporate touts its American-based manufacturing, which is true for all of its merchandise. “That, mixed with our historical past, has proved to be fairly a powerful mixture,” Rigley says.
Since its delicate launch final fall, the corporate’s bitters is doing properly, and Rigley expects demand to develop this yr. “Throughout a number of classes, from spices to extracts, we’re one of many quickest rising manufacturers, and that’s together with going face to face with Goliaths of such classes, like McCormick’s,” Rigley says.